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Home / Features / Moving To Dubai With Your Pets? Here’s A Guide To Help You With The Travel
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Moving To Dubai With Your Pets? Here’s A Guide To Help You With The Travel

Thinking about moving to Dubai? I could not blame you. It is one of the greatest cities in the world after all. If you are someone who loves luxurious shopping, opulent architecture, amazing works of art, and vibrant nightlife, then this is the right place for you.

The city has so much to offer that many people from all over the world are moving to Dubai. In fact, out of its 3 Million population, 85% are expatriates. It is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Traveling can be stressful to both you and your pets. Before you pack your bags and drag your fur babies with you, check these guidelines and research on pet travel regulations first to ensure the smoothest trip possible.

Things to Prepare Prior to Taking Off

● UAE Import Permit
This might be the first thing you need to process after you decide on a trip to Dubai. The UAE Import Permit is needed to book a flight for your pets and to clear them from customs. This is valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and must be processed at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.
There are several agencies who could process this permit for you at a cost. If you plan to process on your own, this will set you back Dh200.
● Health Certificate and Vaccinations
It is your responsibility as pet owners to have your pets vaccinated. If they are already up-to-date with their shots, make sure that you have the vaccination cards with you. Shots should cover Hepatitis, Distemper, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Parvovirus (DHLPP).
For cats, additional vaccinations for feline calicivirus,  rhinotracheitis, and panleukopenia are needed.
An official health certificate endorsed by the government of the country of origin is needed along with the original vaccination records for you to collect your pets from customs. There is a customs fee of Dh90.
● Original Rabies Serum Neutralization Test Certification
Pets moving to UAE should present a document showing that they are rabies-free. If you are from a country not listed as rabies-controlled by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE), your pet should be vaccinated against rabies one year up to 30 days prior to travel.
An original vaccination certificate is needed. Ask your veterinarian to conduct an antibody titer test for rabies if your pet was previously vaccinated. A result of 0.5 IU/ml or above is required for your pet to be cleared.
Pets without a rabies titer test result coming from countries not considered as rabies-controlled by the UAE will be detained and quarantined until a titer test is done at the owner’s expense.
● Tracking Chip
It is advised to have your pets implanted with an ISO 11784 certified microchip prior to administration of rabies shots. Also, take note of your pet’s microchip number as this should be indicated on all documents. Should your pet’s microchip not ISO 11784 certified, you have to bring your own scanner. 
Frequently Asked Questions
I know it is quite overwhelming. Moving is no easy-peasy, more so if you want to get your pets inside the lavish gates of Dubai.  Don’t fret! We might be able to help you with some of your questions.
● What will happen if my pet travels without proper documentation?
Animals without proper documents will be held until the needed permits or certifications can be presented. Of course, you do not want to put your pets through that! That is why it is important to ensure that you have all the things needed.
● Are all dogs allowed to travel?
No, not all dogs are allowed in the UAE no matter how trained and well behaved they are. In fact, it is prohibited to import: all kinds of Pit Bull, Japanese Tosa (TosaInu; Tosa Fighting Dog), Argentinian Fighting Dog (Dogo Argentino; Argentinian Mastiff), Brazilian Fighting Dog (Fila Brasileiro; Brazilian Mastiff), Wolf Dog Hybrid (any dog mixed with a wolf), and American Staffordshire terrier.
● Can I bring all of my pets with me?
Only two pets are allowed per person with each one having its own permit. They will also have to be shipped as cargo and not as baggage or companion.
Pups and kitties under 27 weeks and coming from countries where rabies is considered uncontrolled will not be permitted to enter. You have to wait up until your fur babies are old enough to be admitted inside Dubai.
● When to travel?
Dubai can be hot at times especially from April to October. Pets can get dehydrated and the sudden change in temperature could affect their health. It is suggested to travel during cooler months.  If you must move during the summer, make sure that your pets arrive between late evening and before sunrise.
● Will my dog have to be medicated or quarantined?
You can ease your mind with the fact that your dog will not have to be quarantined upon arrival in Dubai.
As for sedation, this is also not necessary. Some airlines will not fly sedated dogs.
● What type of cage is allowed?
Cages should be in accordance with IATA code or else, your poor pet will be detained for hours. Check information on the requirements at here.
Processing a permit can be a lengthy and tedious process and the whole shift can be tiresome and stressful. It is a comforting fact that there are several pet relocation companies that specialize in processing the paperwork.

As most public transportation would not allow pets inside their vehicles, there are shipping experts who can take care of ground and even air shipping for you.
If you plan to stay at a hotel initially, you may want to check prior if it would admit pets inside its establishment. There are several kennels and cattery companies who could provide boarding and daycare services while you are on a hunt for your new home.

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